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4 Unexpected Places Around the World to Elope

Skip a fancy wedding and tie the knot in a lesser-known locale.

U.S. News & World Report

4 Unexpected Places Around the World to Elope

Newlywed couple walking on beach

Look beyond Las Vegas and discover dreamy, outside-the-box places to get hitched across the globe.(Getty Images).

Between daunting budget estimations, family intrusions and wedding-planning stress, it's easy to see the appeal of an intimate ceremony in a far-off locale. Plus, an elopement offers a beautiful, exotic and romantic alternative to a traditional affair. But while you can enjoy some spontaneity as you jet off to a remote destination to exchange vows, you will want to do some prior planning. Keep in mind that you'll still have to get your marriage license back home. If you're contemplating an overseas weddings, consider checking out the U.S. government's Marriage Aboard page, which offers an excellent starting point.

With that said, if you're ready to get hitched in a striking destination, here are four enchanting elopement ideas to fuel your inspiration.

Gozo, Malta

If you want to feel like you're in the South of France, consider a quiet and intimate wedding ceremony in Gozo. Located 20 minutes by ferry from the main island of Malta, Gozo offers jaw-dropping backdrops and few crowds. Stay at the Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz, where you can recite your vows cliff-side, or stay at Maria's B&B, a romantic bed-and-breakfast. After you tie the knot, enjoy diving, taking romantic strolls along the beach and archaeological tours. Another must-do: checking out the prehistoric Ġgantija Temples, two storied temples that are recognized on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Noto, Italy

Who says you can't have a romantic Italian wedding? For sublime scenery, excellent cuisine and plenty of culture, consider Italy's best-kept secret: Noto. You can elope in the idyllic baroque village set in the province of Syracuse, Sicily, and take advantage of charming chapels and storybook palazzos for postcard-worthy wedding photos. Plus, if you're a history or architecture fan, this destination is perfect for exploring well-preserved 18th-century architecture along with Greek ruins. After getting hitched, you can celebrate with a romantic Sicilian dinner at Trattoria Al Buco or Manna, followed by gelato at Caffe Sicilia. What's more, on a guided tour, you can take in the history, art and culture of the SS Salvatore, the Church of San Domenico, Santa Chiara, the Ducezio Palace, along with the Nicolaci Palace and the picturesque balconies lining Via Nicolaci.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

While Myrtle Beach is best known as a popular destination for beachgoers, it's also a unique elopement choice. Rather than say your vows on the beach, you can profess your love on the SkyWheel Myrtle Beach, a Ferris wheel that's climate-controlled. An out of the ordinary venue option, the SkyWheel offers the chance for a secluded and romantic ceremony. Afterward, you can host a laid-back reception on the beach before touring the Hollywood Wax Museum or Ripley's Aquarium. While renting a beach house is a great option, consider searching for apartments on Airbnb to jump-start your honeymoon.

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

If you're looking for an outside-the-box wedding destination, consider a seaside ceremony in Cabo. If you and your better half are intrepid thrill seekers, you can even say your vows while scuba diving. Reputable company Nautilus Dive Tech created a movable railing system that allows wedded couples and guests to remain upright and balanced while the service is conducted, and rehearsals are held in the company's training pool. What's more, the wedding can be streamed over the internet via Wi-Fi for those far away. After getting hitched, you explore Cabo's diverse and romantic attractions. You can dance the night away after playing a round of golf, getting pampered at a spa or lounging along the beach. Consider staying at the Sheraton Grand Los Cabos Hacienda del Mar for luxurious accommodations.


7 Off-the-Beaten-Track Honeymoon Destinations That Won't Break the Bank

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Couple riding scooter in remote area.

About En Route

Practical advice on the art of traveling smarter with tips, tricks and intel from En Route's panel of experts.

Contributors have experience in areas ranging from family travel, adventure travel, experiential travel and budget travel to hotels, cruises and travel rewards and include Amy Whitley, Claire Volkman, Holly Johnson, Marsha Dubrow, Lyn Mettler, Sery Kim, Kyle McCarthy, Erica Lamberg, Jess Moss, Sheryl Nance-Nash, Sherry Laskin, Katie Jackson, Erin Gifford, Roger Sands, Steve Larese, Gwen Pratesi, Erin Block, Dave Parfitt, Kacey Mya, Kimberly Wilson, Susan Portnoy, Donna Tabbert Long and Kitty Bean Yancey.

Edited by Liz Weiss.

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